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The Vital Energies, Especially Musical, of Israel's Desert Towns

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
Aryeh Tepper for Mosaic


A letter from the “development town” of Ofakim, where Jews from North Africa are helping to forge a new Israeli culture.


Ofakim is a working-class city of 30,000 people in southern Israel, twenty minutes west of Be’er Sheva, the regional capital, and thirty minutes from Gaza’s Mediterranean coast. Conventionally referred to as a “development town,” Ofakim was established in 1955 with the aim of drawing newly arriving immigrants away from Israel’s central coastal region and strengthening the country’s hold on the sparsely populated Negev desert.

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Mukimame and za'atar patties

jewish-food - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
By Sarah F. Berkowitz for FromtheGrapevine


These gorgeous green soybean patties make a fabulous meal with a side of tahini and Israeli salad.


Living in the South, I hear a lot about fritters and frying – whether it’s okra, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, or one of many other formerly unknown foods. And I have a lot of fun merging these Southern gems with my Israeli roots – like in these soybean patties spiced with Mediterranean za’atar spice. The tahini drizzle is a perfect finish for these gorgeous, green patties, and a side of Israeli salad makes it a complete meal (pita optional!).

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The Ultimate Summer Snack, Courtesy of Israel

children-and-families - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
BY SHANNON SARNA for Kveller


These Limonana Ice Pops Will Be Your Summer Savior


For the last few years I have spent several weeks of my summer working and vacationing in Israel, spending a significant amount of time in beachy Tel Aviv. It’s hot. It’s humid. And it was absolutely wonderful, spending many days at the beach or sitting at cafes drinking lattes and icy limonana.

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Lovesick: Stefan Zweig’s ‘Letter From an Unknown Woman’

jewish-books - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
By Alexander Aciman


Bookworm: The Austrian novelist dissects a broken heart


Dying of flu, a woman sends a letter to the man she has loved all her life—a man who would not know her from a stranger in the street. If he has received this letter, she warns, it means that she has died; otherwise the letter will be torn up. Over the next 70 pages she describes the first time they met, when she was a young girl, then the second time, when she was 18, and finally the third time, years later, when still unable to recognize her, he would pay for an evening of her time as a prostitute. She tells the story of life in the shadow of someone else, of a love from afar, not just unrequited, but unacknowledged, kept secret from the world except for in this letter.

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What Jews and Arabs think about Gaza might surprise you

interfaith - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
From Israel Unwired

 

There is so much more that unites Jews and Arabs than divides us. Unfortunately, there are always those Arabs, like Hamas, who resort to violence and murder that tear our society apart.


Jews and Arabs

Jews and Arabs can live together. Under Jewish rule in the Jewish State of Israel, Arab and Muslims have full equality. They serve as Supreme Court Justices, police officers, Parliament Members etc. All jobs are open to them. Israeli hospitals are filled with Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses as well as patients from both populations.

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7 Ways to Celebrate Tu B’Av, the Jewish Day of Love

interfaith - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
by Kristin Posner; This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


When InterfaithFamily asked me to write a post for Tu B’Av, I have to admit, I had to do some research: Tu B’Av is not widely celebrated in my Reform Jewish community in San Francisco.

One of the most interesting Intro to Judaism classes I took at my temple was a class on the Jewish calendar. Jewish time is determined by the sun and primarily by the moon, making it a lunisolar calendar. The calendar is so beautifully and thoughtfully designed to punctuate the year with rituals that help us heal, reflect, mark time and celebrate. Many Jewish holidays were designed to take place on the brightest night of the month, during the full moon. Tu B’Av is one of those nights.


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Kids grow salad greens on an urban concrete schoolyard

green-living - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
 

Hydroponic hothouse program introduces disadvantaged girls to organic, sustainable veggies and herbs for eating and selling.
 

Photos of smiling kids planting, picking and eating vegetables line the hallways of a school for girls in an impoverished Jerusalem neighborhood. The pictures were taken in the hydroponic hothouse the girls have tended for the past three years on their concrete playground.

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YOU DON’T NEED TO BELIEVE IN GOD TO BE A PART OF THESE SYNAGOGUES

featured-articles - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
By  Jessica Klein for Hey Alma


Last Friday night during a Shabbat service at Romemu, a Manhattan-based temple for “spiritual seekers and skeptics alike,” I marveled at the energy of an old man wearing a colorful yarmulke atop his gray ponytail as he danced through most of the service. Closing his eyes and swaying his arms, he stood alone toward the rabbi’s podium when the evening began.

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Va’et-chanan - Shabbat Nachamu

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am

Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11 


BY NICOLE WILSON-SPIRO, JTS


Experiencing the Light of Torah


This summer I returned to Jewish overnight camp after a 15-year hiatus. After all this time, s’mores, a love of cheering in unison (has the cheering gotten louder or am I older?), and earnest, hard-working counselors (I was one, once) are still to be found at camp. I am happy to report that the food is now much, much better than I remembered, and the supervision and attention to camper care have improved vastly, as well.

Read & Listen.

Remember Us: The Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project

young-adults - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
From Remember-us.org


Remember Us: The Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project offers an invitation to children preparing for bar/bat mitzvah to connect with the memory of children lost in the Holocaust before they could be called to the Torah.

This is a very simple idea. The Project provides the student and the bar/bat mitzvah teacher with the name of a lost child, information about him/her, and suggestions for simple acts of remembrance:

  • doing mitzvot b’shem (in the name of the child)
  • mentioning the child in a dvar Torah or speech from the bimah
  • taking on the mitzvah of saying Kaddish
  • lighting a yahrzeit candle yearly
  •  

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Quarter of a million people celebrate Tel Aviv Pride 2018

LGBTQ - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am

By Rebecca Stadlen Amir for Israel21c


Tel Aviv kicks off Global Pride Parade season with record number of attendees celebrating LGBT rights and tolerance at the city’s 20th annual event.


More than a quarter of a million people from around the world gathered in Tel Aviv on Friday to take part in the largest ever pride parade in the Middle East. 

Shirtless men in bow ties, drag queens and revelers waving Israeli and rainbow flags danced through the city streets, marking 20 years since Tel Aviv’s first pride parade and paying tribute to those who played a role in promoting LGBT rights and the image of tolerance for the community in Israel.


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Hello or shalom? Half of Israeli kids grow up bilingual

israeil-news - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c


Israel is possibly the world’s best ‘lab’ for researching the little-understood phenomenon of being raised with two or more spoken languages.

 



“Anna,” a preschooler in the Israeli city of Bat Yam, was thought to be cognitively impaired because testing her in Hebrew showed her cognitive skills lagging behind her classmates. But when retested in her home language, Russian, she was found to be normal.


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End Of Life

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
From myjewishlearning.com 


What does Judaism have to say about end-of-life care? How to make decisions for the terminally ill? What lessons can we learn from our Patriarchs and Matriarchs in the Torah? How does Judaism view hospice and palliative care?

Read about all these issues and more in myjewishlearning.com 

 

Can You Be Jewish Without God?

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 07/23/2018 - 12:00am
BY PAUL GOLIN for myjewishlearning.com 


What Is Secular Humanistic Judaism?


This "fifth denomination," founded in the 1960s by a Reform-ordained rabbi, describes itself as humanistic rather than atheistic.


Secular Humanistic Judaism is a movement that believes Judaism was created by people to meet human needs and that it is most meaningfully expressed by celebrating human knowledge, power and responsibility.

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A Special Edition for Tisha B'Av

jewish-arts-and-media - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Rabbi Meir Soloveichik for Mosaic


How Rembrandt Understood the Destruction of Jerusalem (and Poussin Didn't)

 

A tale of two paintings and one city.


This is a tale of two paintings by two 17th-century masters. Both depict the same historical event. In every other respect, they present a complete contrast.

The first painting has a fascinating back story. During World War II, an eccentric Englishman by the name of Ernest Onians made a fortune with his invention of Tottenham Pudding, a form of pigswill produced from waste food. Having amassed his millions, Onians became an art collector, purchasing canvases at country fairs and garage sales and accumulating some 500 works in all.

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Devarim - Shabbat Hazon

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:00am

Deuteronomy 1:1−3:22 


BY LILLY KAUFMAN for JTS


Judge Justly, Four Ways


Most of us are rarely called upon to judge other people, so when we read in the first chapter of our parashah about how we ought to judge ethically, we may not ever expect to act on this mitzvah. Then the jury summons comes in the mail, and suddenly we’re in a jury pool of over 100 people, awaiting selection for a massive white-collar criminal case. The issues of power, influence, and impartiality come up early.

Read & Listen. 

Young Jews Address New Campus Threats at CAMERA’s Annual Student Conference

young-adults - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:00am
From the algemeiner.com


JNS.org – More than 80 students from nearly 70 campuses will be in Boston from July 29 to Aug. 1 for a high-level training conference on how to successfully respond to campus antisemitism and anti-Israel activism.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is hosting the conference. The organization is providing all the students with a free trip to Boston to attend four full days of lectures, discussions and workshops.

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Pride in London: Ten LGBT Jews inspiring change

LGBTQ - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:00am
From JewishNews.timesofisrael


Ahead of this weekend's event celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, in partnership with KeshetUK we take a look at 10 prime movers shaping attitudes and acceptance of LGBT+ Jews in Britain


Shaan Surat Knan

Shaan is one of the most vocal and visible campaigners within and beyond the Jewish community on LGBT+ inclusion, inspiring people with his openness during his transition.

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South Carolina is first state to adopt uniform definition of anti-Semitism

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:00am
From JTA


South Carolina became the first state to adopt a uniform definition of anti-Semitism, but it is only on the books for the next year.

The definition is contained in a proviso to the annual state budget bill, which was signed into law on July 6.

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Meet The Real Mrs. Maisel: Jean Carroll

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:00am
By Grace Kessler Overbeke for The Forward
 

I am a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, where I am currently working on a monograph about the very first Jewish female comedian, Jean Carroll — which is an academic way of saying that I am very, very invested in the actual Jewish, female pioneer of stand-up. I wasn’t sure that “Mrs. Maisel” would do her justice. And though it’s a great show, it doesn’t.

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